M. Gougenot awaited his return from the Temple at the door of his hotel, and made a sign that he wished to speak to him. A moment afterwards a servant came to introduce him into the magistrates’ room. He imparted to M. de Malesherbes what I had thought it right to do with respect to the King’s papers, and placed in his hands the proces-verbal of the Council, which his Majesty had preserved in order to serve, if occasion required it, for a ground of his defence. However, that paper is not mentioned in either of the speeches of his advocate; probably it was determined not to make use of it.
I stop at that terrible period which is marked by the assassination of a King whose virtues are well known; but I cannot refrain from relating what he deigned to say in my favour to M. de Malesherbes:
“Let Madame Campan know that she did what I should myself have ordered her to do; I thank her for it; she is one of those whom I regret I have it not in my power to recompense for their fidelity to my person, and for their good services.” I did not hear of this until the morning after he had suffered, and I think I should have sunk under my despair if this honourable testimony had not given me some consolation.
Madame Campan’s narrative breaking off abruptly at the time of the painful end met with by her sister, we have supplemented it by abridged accounts of the chief incidents in the tragedy which overwhelmed the royal house she so faithfully served, taken from contemporary records and the best historical authorities.
The Royal Family in the Temple.
The Assembly having, at the instance of the Commune of Paris, decreed that the royal family should be immured in the Temple, they were removed thither from the Feuillans on the 13th of August, 1792, in the charge of Potion, Mayor of Paris, and Santerre, the commandant-general. Twelve Commissioners of the general council were to keep constant watch at the Temple, which had been fortified by earthworks and garrisoned by detachments of the National Guard, no person being allowed to enter without permission from the municipality.
The Temple, formerly the headquarters of the Knights Templars in Paris, consisted of two buildings,—the Palace, facing the Rue de Temple, usually occupied by one of the Princes of the blood; and the Tower, standing behind the Palace.
[Clery gives a more minute description of this singular building: “The small tower of the Temple in which the King was then confined stood with its back against the great tower, without any interior communication, and formed a long square, flanked by two turrets. In one of these turrets there was a narrow staircase that led from the first floor to a gallery on the platform; in the other were small rooms, answering to each story of the tower. The body of the building was four stories high.